Animal Collective's Rise Is Well Deserved

They brilliantly mix 'accessible' and 'avant-garde'
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 31, 2009 2:54 PM CST
Animal Collective's Rise Is Well Deserved
Animal Collective, from left, Josh Dibb, Noah Lennox, Brian Weitz, and Dave Portner.   (AP Photo)

The rise of Animal Collective in 2009 is often attributed to concessions to accessibility, Jonah Weiner writes. “Going by the blurbs alone, you might assume that, in a few years, Animal Collective will complete its career-long metamorphosis into ABBA.” But that’s just not the case. The quirky indie band mixes pop and avant-garde in the same measure as ever; but now, it has “expanded the overtures its music makes to our bodies.”

“The gurgles and slurps are wetter and more viscous than ever, and the synthesizer stabs and bass thumps hit harder, even if they seldom resolve into anything so regular as a dance beat,” Weiner writes on Slate. Critics overlook the fact that the dizzy elation of the music is its selling point. "The 'avant-garde' and the 'accessible' work in concert—to the point where it can be hard to tell one from the other—to keep us curious and entertained. We may frequently feel at sea, but the water's warm."

(More Animal Collective stories.)

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